Cooking On A Budget: Demi Glace

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Demi Glace


My house smells amazing right now. The demi glace is finished and it smells exactly like the sauce we had at a restaurant last weekend. I am recreating the dinner we had which was filet with demi glace, wild mushroom saute, green beans with a julienne (of sorts) of carrots.

Making Demi Glace is really a two step process. First you make the brown sauce which is called in classical cooking espagnole, (pronounced like the word for Spanish: español). The brown sauce or espagnole is one of the five mother sauces. In my blog I have the recipe for other Mother Sauces: Mother Sauce - Veloute and Mother Sauce - Bechemel

Since I am cooking for two, I chose to make a smaller amount of brown sauce to turn into demi glace as it was my first time making it. I would however make a larger amount the next time I make it because it is an involved process AND in my research have learned it freezes well. You can freeze it in ice cube trays or muffin tins then pop it out and put it in freezer bags like I have suggested for seafood stocks.

For each pound of bones the recommended amount of water is 32 ounces. However I used a bit more water. Also the butcher at the store that broke down the tenderloin for me did a lousy job so I used the end pieces to help make the brown stock.
  • cheesecloth
  • 3 small carrots - rough chop
  • 1 large onion - rough chop
  • 2 stalks celery - rough chop
  • 2 tbsp. tomato puree (I used tomato paste)
  • 2 - 3 tbsp. regular olive oil or vegetable oil
  • sachet: 1 bay leaf, 1/4 tsp. black pepper corns, 1 - 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • water
  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Place beef or veal bones in a heavy bottomed roasting pan. Drizzle them with a bit of vegetable oil or olive oil.
  3. Roast bones for 35 minutes.
  4. Add mirepoix to the roasting pan and continue roasting for another 30 minutes, then add some tomato paste or tomato puree. Mix well.
  5. When the bones are thoroughly browned, about 1 hour more, remove the roasting pan from the oven and transfer the bones to a heavy-bottomed stockpot.
  6. Add enough cold water to the pot to completely cover the bones.
  7. Bring pot to a boil, then immediately lower the heat to a simmer.
  8. Skim off any scum that rises to the surface.
  9. Add the roasted mirepoix to the pot along with a sachet of spices (bay leaf, black peppercorns and thyme leaves) wrapped in cheesecloth.
  10. Continue to simmer the stock and skim the impurities that rise to the surface. Liquid will evaporate, so make sure there's always enough water to cover the bones.
  11. After anywhere from 4 to 6 hours, once the stock has developed a rich, brown color, remove the pot from the heat.
  12. I strained my stock over a strainer with a spout, put it in the refrigerator overnight and the next day removed all of the oil that had settled on the top. If you do not choose that method, strain the stock through a sieve lined with a few layers of cheesecloth. Cool the stock quickly, using an ice bath if necessary.

The second step is to incorporate the brown sauce (espagnole) and finalize the demi glace.

  • 1 cup onions, diced
  • ½ cup carrots, diced
  • ½ cup celery, diced
  • 2 Tbsp clarified butter
  • 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 6 cups brown stock
  • ¼ cup tomato puree (I chose to leave this out)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 3-4 fresh parsley stems

  1. In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, melt the butter over a medium heat until it becomes frothy.
  2. Add the mirepoix and sauté for a few minutes until it's lightly browned. Don't let it burn.
  3. With a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the mirepoix a little bit at a time, until it is fully incorporated and forms a thick paste like you were making a roux.
  4. Lower the heat and cook the roux for another five minutes or so, until it's light brown. Don't let it burn! The roux will have a slightly nutty aroma at this point.
  5. Using a wire whisk, slowly add the stock and tomato puree to the roux, whisking vigorously to make sure it's free of lumps.
  6. Bring to a boil, lower heat, add the sachet and simmer for about 30-50 minutes (depending on the amount you are making) or until the total volume has reduced by about one-third, stirring frequently to make sure the sauce doesn't scorch at the bottom of the pan.
  7. Remove the sauce from the heat and retrieve the sachet. For an extra smooth consistency, carefully pour the sauce through a wire mesh strainer.
  8. Serve hot. If not serving the sauce right away, keep it covered and warm until you're ready to use it.
  9. Freeze or refrigerate left overs. If you make more than you need by all means freeze it. 

To freeze: add the stock to muffins tins and freeze. Pop them out an put them in zip lock bags for future use.

I grilled our fillets, but you can pan sear them and finish in the oven as another way of cooking them.

With my frozen demi glace, I made another special Date Night Dinner at home:

And this time served it up with a baked potato instead of mashed potato.

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